Apple hires hacker who helped Microsoft to lock down Windows Vista

“Kristin Paget — formerly known as Chris Paget — now works on Apple’s security team,” Robert McMillan reports for Wired. “Just over five years ago, she was part of a small team of elite hackers brought in by Microsoft to lock down Windows Vista.”

“Reached via e-mail, Paget confirmed that she is now an Apple employee, but referred all questions to Apple’s public relations group. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on Paget,” McMillan reports. “Until this past summer, Paget had been chief hacker at Recursion Ventures, a company that specializes in hardware security. When she left in July, she said she was looking for a break from bug-finding, hoping to find a job that involved building ‘security-focused hardware.'”

McMillan reports, “Paget made headlines in 2010 when she built her own cellphone-intercepting base station at the Defcon hacker conference. Back then, Paget was known as Chris. She switched genders last year. Although Paget said she was ‘total Unix head’ — and expressed a dislike of Windows during her 2011 Black Hat talk — she didn’t have anything to say about Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Complete the sentence: Hiring somebody who “locked down” Vista for your security team is like…


  1. My only concern with this is that Vista is about as secure as Windows 95, the only difference being that Vista has a bunch of fancy security features that do nothing.

    Hiring somebody who “locked down” Vista for your security team is like hiring Gilligan to get you off a deserted island.

    1. Wrong. Vista changed things in windows land drastically when it came to security. I’m not saying its bullet proof or anything of that nature but it closed a lot of holes and mechanisms that could be used to breach security.

      I was involved with a software project that used cross process shared memory, cross process sub-classing and system wide hooks. Vista completely broke that application and we had to re-design the basics of how the software accessed certain data.

      The techniques we used had worked from Windows 95 all the way through XP so no vista is not about as secure as Windows 95. Its worlds away from Windows 95.

    2. Windows has gotten much better with security lately. It’s far from “locked down”, but it’s substantially better than the leaky ship it was in XP and earlier. Users with common sense now actually stand a chance of avoiding malware on Windows.

  2. I hate that my iMac asks me now if I want to open this program just downloaded. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have clicked on it.
    Any more crap like this makes macs more like windows

    1. Seems like a totally reasonable precaution to me. Opening downloaded programs IS just about the only way to get malware on Macs. I’m sure it prevents many people from opening things like a photos that are really trojan apps with photo icons.

    1. Kristin is a well respected security researcher. Did anyone ever stop to think that Kristin likely did not have complete control or veto power over what the final implementation of security features in Vista was like?

      Anyone that thinks that Kristin was given a clean slate and complete autonomy as to what the security model in Vista is crazy.

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